EDITOR’S NOTE (5/31/19): The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has issued the following notice regarding the dates discussed in this bulletin: “The deadline for employer notice to employees has been extended from May 31 to June 30, 2019. The notice, which may be provided electronically, must include the opportunity for an employee or self-employed individual to acknowledge receipt or decline to acknowledge receipt of the information.”
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has released templates for employers and covered business entities to use in satisfying their notice obligations under the state Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
The notices must be provided to current employees and to self-employed independent contractors in the recipients’ primary languages by May 31.
The templates are available in 12 languages, in addition to English – Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Our prior coverage of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act is available here:
Creating your own notice
Employers and covered business entities have the option to create their own notices. If they do so, the notices to employees must contain the following (quoted from the Department website with minor edits for clarity):
- An explanation of the availability of family and medical leave benefits
- The employee’s contribution amount and obligations
- The employer’s contribution amount and obligations
- The employer’s name and mailing address
- The employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number
- Instructions on how to file a claim for family and medical leave benefits
- The mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the Department.
Notices to independent contractors must include the following (quoted from the Department website):
- An explanation of the availability of family and medical leave benefits and the procedures established for self-employed individuals to become covered individuals
- The self-employed individual’s contribution amount and obligations if they were to become a covered individual.
In addition, the independent contractor notice must include the last five items required for employee notices.
Acknowledgment of receipt
The notices must allow recipients the opportunity to acknowledge receipt in writing. If the recipient refuses to sign, the business entity must give the recipient the opportunity to sign a statement “indicating  refusal to sign [the] acknowledgement.”
Timetable and penalties
The notices must be provided to current employees by May 31. For employees hired on or after June 1, the notices must be provided within 30 days of hire. Notices must be provided to current independent contractors by May 31. For contracts entered into on or after June 1, the notices must be provided at the time that the contract is entered.
Failure to timely provide the notices may result in fines of $50 per worker for the first violation and $300 per worker for subsequent violations.